The Democracy Collaborative released their latest report, Cities Building Community Wealth (November 2015) written by Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly and Manager of Community Development Programs Sarah McKinley. The report profiles the work of local officials who have taken up the community wealth building approach to creating inclusive and sustainable economies. Already, this report has received favorable coverage from Forbes, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Next City, and YES! Magazine. The report will be the centerpiece of a convening involving mayors, directors of economic development, scholars and practitioners on January 29, 2016, co-hosted by the CUNY School of Law Community and Economic Development Clinic. Find out more about the convening here, and read the report here.
The Next System Project released a collection of essays by Co-Chair Gus Speth entitled Getting to the Next System: Guideposts on the way to a new political economy. This second report in the Next System Project research series outlines the nature of system change, pathways forward, and a vision for a new American Dream. Read more below. The Next System Project also published a poll, adapted from Getting to the Next System, that allows community groups and activists to assess how their work contributes to system change. In other Next System Project developments, co-chair Gar Alperovitz, in an article in Al Jazeera, notes local experiments around the country that draw from traditional socialism, but promote democratic ownership in a “radically decentralized, populist and very American form.” And on November 9, Gar participated in an online panel as part of New Economy Week. Download this report here.
Today, the annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America research was released by NCoC and the Corporation for National & Community Service.
Follow this link to view the full report.
The research shows that the overall rate of volunteering is slightly lower than the previous year, yet remains strong and stable. Volunteering expands across all generations with 62.6 million adults (25.4%) participating in such activities – contributing a total of 7.7 billion hours.
Key demographic findings from the report include:
- Americans 35-44 years old had the highest volunteering rate (31.3%) followed by those 45-54 years old (29.4%). One in five of “Millennials”, or those of ages 16-31, (21.7%) volunteered.
- Older generations contributed the highest average number of volunteer hours with those 65-74 years old providing 92 hours and those 75 and older providing 90 hours.
- The volunteer rate among young adults (ages 18-24) attending college was 26.7%, nearly double the volunteer rate of young adults not attending college (13.5%). This gap reflects the important role of colleges and universities as catalysts for service, and challenges us to do more to engage more young people not attending college in service activities.
Other civic health indicators from the report found that two in three Americans (68.5%) have dinner with family or friends frequently. Meanwhile, three in four (75.7%) see or hear from friends and family at least a few times a week, and more than a third (36.3%) are involved in a school, civic, recreational, religious, or other organizations.
At this time of heightened unease, the civic health of our country and engagement of our citizens is particularly important. All sectors of society should redouble their efforts to promote greater connections among Americans. Our civic health is strongest when citizens engage with their neighbors and government.
A faculty member at Texas A&M University-Central Texas — a fellow ADP campus — is engaged in a research project focused on Millennial Generation Faculty Members and Civic Engagement. Please read the short study description below and share with colleagues that might be interested in participating in this important effort. Thanks! — Jen
Millennial Faculty & Civic Engagement Study
“Civically-minded” is a term often used to describe individuals from the Millennial Generation (individuals born in 1982 or later) due to their affinity for community service, social activism and involvement in nonprofit organizations. Coincidentally, the time during which those from this generation entered college represented an era during which higher education demonstrated a renewed emphasis on civic engagement efforts nationally. These activities and programs have repeatedly demonstrated positive effects on many student outcomes that prepare them for lives as engaged citizens and professionals.
It is at this point that Millennials are beginning to enter the professoriate themselves. As the sustained success of service-learning and other community engagement endeavors ultimately lies with faculty members, this study aims to investigate how generational tendencies and/or undergraduate experiences have affected currently engaged Millennial faculty members’ development.
We are seeking full-time faculty members born after 1981 who have utilized service-learning in their teaching in order to investigate: 1) their personal perceptions and motivations towards the practice, and 2) if their undergraduate experience affected their development as civically-engaged professionals. Participants will take part in a brief individual interview and a short follow-up discussion with other participants to examine commonalities and themes. Webcams will be necessary for participation.
Interviews will begin in December 2015 and will continue through early February 2016. All interested individuals should contact Morgan Lewing at email@example.com.
Dr. Morgan Lewing
Assistant Professor, College of Education
Texas A&M University-Central Texas (Killeen, TX)
In the 1980’s, Latinos were described as America’s sleeping giant.
Over these decades, Latinos have gradually increased their civic aptitude and today are influencing the country’s civic life. With the release of the National Conference on Citizenship’s (NCOC) Latinos Civic Health Index, we now have an in-depth understanding of Latino civic engagement across a wide range of indicators.
The report finds that Latino youth are at the forefront of increasing civic engagement within their communities. While overall Latino civic participation rates are lower than the rest of the population, improved educational opportunities, English language proficiency, and a higher than average rate of social media usage create increased avenues for youth engagement.
Two particularly interesting findings are that young Latino Internet users use social networking sites at higher rates (80%) than non-Latino whites (70%) and African Americans (75%). Additionally, lower income Latino youth are more likely than their higher income Latino counterparts to use social media. Combined, these points offer new opportunities for civic organizations and governments to focus on social media as a way to increase engagement.
The report, which is available in English and Spanish, can be found here.
Our Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement Roundup is a new, semi-regular feature on the ADP National Blog. It will feature short summaries of news, research, events and opportunities as well as other work by our partners and other national and international leaders in the civic engagement movement. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have information you’d like featured in a future Roundup.
- Save the date for the 2016 Frontiers of Democracy conference: June 23-25, 2016 at Tufts University’s Boston campus
- Matt Leighninger joins Public Agenda as VP for engagement and director of the Yankelovich Center for Public Judgment
- Everyday Democracy’s 7 Tips for Facilitating Discussions on Community-Police Relations
- Public Agenda releases a Participatory Budgeting Toolkit, featuring 15 key metrics
- Text, Talk, Act is back and bigger than ever, with national events on November 10th
- Four quadrants of citizen engagement: accessibility, collaboration, transparency, empowerment
- Sandy Heierbacher recounts a year of transition for the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation
- Low community turnout and 10 things you can do about it from @EvDem
- Youth voter turnout down in 2014; young people more likely to vote for candidates who are more “in touch” with them – http://ow.ly/QkcQQ
- Campus Compact Accelerating Change: Engagement for Impact Conference March 21-23, 2016, Boston, MA